Learn the career lessons they don’t teach in school
Education is a stepping stone to success, but some of the most important lessons aren’t taught in school. Here’s what you need to learn in order to grow in your career (and in your personal life):
• You can’t do everything yourself. Don’t be a control freak. Learn your limits so you can concentrate on what you do best and delegate the rest to people (or tools) capable of doing as good a job, or better.
• You need to understand finance. No matter what field you’re in, a basic understanding of how money flows in and out of your organization will help you stand out from your peers and make better professional and personal decisions.
• You don’t always get a second chance. Failure isn’t necessarily fatal, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get unlimited opportunities to try, try again. Learn to distinguish between foolhardy gambles and reasonable risks, and show that you’re willing to do your best—but be ready to move on if things don’t work out.
• Your attitude is paramount. Stay upbeat, no matter what happens. Not only will employers and co-workers respond to your energy and positive outlook, but you’ll be more motivated and productive if you approach your work with optimism and a can-do spirit.
• Your boss doesn’t have all the answers. Listen to your managers, but remember that they’re human, too. They don’t always know what to do. Your job is to help them get things done, not dump problems in their laps. Offer solutions and support wherever and whenever you can.
• You’ve got to market yourself. You’re responsible for your own success. Most of your managers and colleagues are too busy with their own issues to look out for your career. Look for opportunities to shine, let people know what you’re capable of, and be ready to prove yourself.